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Disabilities

Disabilities

Backgrounders

DIsabilities : Background & Perspective

By Rubina Lal

Between 5 and 10% of Indians have some impairment or disabling condition. This means that India has a huge population of disabled people. At the policy level, progressive legislation, schemes and provisions exist for them. But at the ground level, the disabled continue to be neglected and marginalised, with the onus of care on the family rather than the community. India needs to mark a shift from the medical model of intervention to community-based rehabilitation of the disabled

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»Protecting women with disabilities from violence By Swagata Raha
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Analysis

Towards a new disability policy

By Muralidharan

Persons with Disabilities Act

Census 2011 figures are likely to throw up more accurate figures for disabled population at around 9 crore. But the social justice ministry allocates only 10% of its budget to disability, and there are no moves to review the 2006 national policy

Given the enormous dimensions and complex nature of the problem of disability in India, and the failure of existing policies and programmes to address it adequately, there is urgent need for a re-orientation of the policy framework on the issue.

Related Articles

»Not a ‘safe’ issue: Disabled women and sexual violence By Shampa Sengupta & Saptarshi Mandal
Read More

»Sexual assault of disabled women: Getting the law right By Saptarshi Mandal
Read More

»Getting grounded on the disability issue By Shampa Sengupta
Read More

Features

Disabled on an equal footing this election

By Shampa Sengupta

If Supreme Court guidelines are obeyed, the forthcoming Lok Sabha election will be a historic one. For the first time the poll process will be disabled-friendly, with ramps, separate queues and Braille-enabled voting machines that will allow disabled voters to enjoy the same rights as everyone else

“I struck off my name from the voters’ list after I started using a wheelchair following an accident,” says Sumanta Sarkar (name changed on request), a resident of South Kolkata and a senior central government employee. “I knew I would not be able to access the polling booth, and I cannot face the indignity of being carried inside the booth by others.”


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Related Articles

»Disabled insured for good health By Amitava Banerjee
Read More

»The disabled protest government inaction By Rajashri Dasgupta
Read More

»Out of sight, out of mind By Shampa Sengupta
Read More

Books & Reports

My wheelchair flew like the wind

Disabled activist Naseema Hurzuk's story is representative of the trials and victories of millions of disabled people in India. In these excerpts from her book Naseema, The Incredible Story, she writes about Mohammed who has no hands but can hit a four in a cricket match, about wheelchair basketball matches in England, and more.

Naseema is the touching personal narrative of a wheelchair-bound paraplegic woman who led a normal and healthy life till the age of 16. From bewilderment at first and then suicidal depression, to coping and then rising from the ashes, her story is primarily one of transcendence - how she transcended her own disability by taking on the pain of other disabled people.

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Changemakers

Mirakles do happen!

By Indira Gartenberg

Dhruv Lakra's office in Churchgate

A courier service entirely run and staffed by the hearing-impaired? Is it a workable idea? Here's the remarkable story of just such a service surviving against all odds

I walked into Dhruv Lakra's office in Churchgate, Mumbai, on the morning of March 20, 2009, but was not expecting to witness an unusually quiet courier agency room. Seconds later, I saw a rapid -- almost electric -- exchange of messages in sign language between Dhruv and his team.

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»25% of Sharayu's workforce is disabled By Huned Contractor
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Stories of Change

Standing up for the rights of the disabled

 By Teresa Rehman
Morigaon district school teacher Prafulla Pator

In the northeastern state of Assam, riddled with insurgency, the rights of disabled people get even lower priority than elsewhere in the country. Disability Law Unit-North East has come up with successful legal interventions to secure the rights of the disabled in the region and to spread awareness about the protections available under the law

In Assam’s Morigaon district school teacher Prafulla Pator goes for his evening walks along the lanes of his village leaning on his crutch, attends panchayat meetings, and exudes a new-found confidence while working in his school.

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Related Articles

»A school for Mr Datta
Read More

»Tejas brings education and independence to disabled rural women
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»Sankara Eye Hospital's goal: Vision 20/20 by 2020
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News

Survey finds disabled women doubly disadvantaged

A pioneering study on women with disabilities, conducted in five eastern Indian states, finds that disabled women, besides lacking education and employment opportunities, are completely ignorant about their legal rights

The first-ever baseline survey on disabled women, conducted by the Association of Women with Disabilities (AWWD) in the five eastern states of Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar, has found them to be sorely disadvantaged by lack of education and employment opportunities, and ignorance about their legal rights.

Read More

Related Articles

»Disabled children five times more likely to remain out of school than SC/ST children: WB report 
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»Taj Mahal becomes disabled-friendly
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»Court raps Maharashtra for failure to fill disabled job quota
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Statistics

Distribution of the disabled population in India by sex and residence

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Disabled Sexualities

Asexuality and hypersexuality

By Richa Kaul Padte

mentally disabled women sexualityThe stigma of hypersexuality attached to mentally disabled women and the assumed asexuality of people with physical disabilities both serve to exclude disabled people from the realm of socially accepted sexual behaviours, practices, and rights.

The intersection of disability and sexuality as navigated through this series has shown itself to be multifaceted and often misunderstood. However, the terrain becomes more complex as we take people – specifically women – with mental disabilities into consideration.

Read More

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»Violence and disabled women By Richa Kaul Padte
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»Disability emerges from its social seclusion By Richa Kaul Padte
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»‘How do you do it?’: The politics of disabled sex By Richa Kaul Padte
Read More

Protecting women with disabilities from violence

By Swagata Raha

Violence against women with disabilities can range from neglect to physical abuse to denying them even the traditional roles of marriage and childbearing. The Indian legal framework has to be strengthened to bring it in line with international legislations on the rights of disabled women

Read more...

Disabilities : Background & Perspective

By Rubina Lal

Between 5 and 10% of Indians have some impairment or disabling condition. This means that India has a huge population of disabled people. At the policy level, progressive legislation, schemes and provisions exist for them. But at the ground level, the disabled continue to be neglected and marginalised, with the onus of care on the family rather than the community. India needs to mark a shift from the medical model of intervention to community-based rehabilitation of the disabled

Read more...

Towards a new disability policy

By Muralidharan

Census 2011 figures are likely to throw up more accurate figures for disabled population at around 9 crore. But the social justice ministry allocates only 10% of its budget to disability, and there are no moves to review the 2006 national policy

Persons with Disabilities Act

Read more...

Not a ‘safe’ issue: Disabled women and sexual violence

By Shampa Sengupta & Saptarshi Mandal

Disability groups have not been part of the heated debates on making sexual offences gender-neutral or gender-specific. But making sexual assault gender-neutral for both perpetrator and victim has consequences for disabled women

sexual assault

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Sexual assault of disabled women: Getting the law right

Simply increasing the punishment or shifting the burden of proof to the accused, without making sure that the testimony of the prosecutrix is taken seriously, will not bring justice to disabled victims of sexual assault, says Saptarshi Mandal in this critique of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2012

disabled women

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Getting grounded on the disability issue

Disabled activists being humiliated on domestic flights make headline news. But the daily travails of the disabled who attempt to travel by bus, rail or tram never get any attention. Isn't it more important to ensure that the poor and disabled are brought into the arena of rights, asks Shampa Sengupta

People with disabilities

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India needs new legislation on Disability Rights

By Swagata Raha

The government has proposed 108 amendments to the Persons with Disabilities Act, the overarching disability legislation in India. Disabled rights groups are demanding a new law instead that would guarantee civil and political rights to disabled people and expand the definition of disability

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The women's movement must do more for disabled women

Disabled women are crowded out in both the disability movement and the women’s movement, says Anita Ghai. Feminists, she says, have failed to recognise the different experiences of disabled women in a sexist and able society

Read more...

No rights for the mentally disabled

By Shampa Sengupta

At a Kolkata mental hospital recently female patients were found left stark naked in the ward. Mental illness is included in the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995, but the mentally disabled are denied even the rights and reservations available to the physically disabled

Read more...

Disabled on an equal footing this election

By Shampa Sengupta

If Supreme Court guidelines are obeyed, the forthcoming Lok Sabha election will be a historic one. For the first time the poll process will be disabled-friendly, with ramps, separate queues and Braille-enabled voting machines that will allow disabled voters to enjoy the same rights as everyone else

Read more...

Disabled insured for good health

By Amitava Banerjee

The government-funded Niramaya scheme extends health insurance cover of Rs 100,000 to persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, bringing a large section of disabled people into the healthcare system

Read more...

The disabled protest government inaction

It is over a year since India ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and there is no move to provide education, health and employment to people with disability, says Rajashri Dasgupta as a dharna and night-long vigil are staged in Delhi this World Disability Day

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Out of sight, out of mind

By Shampa Sengupta

Even as the country acknowledges that the disabled must be integrated into the mainstream educational system, a study in Kolkata reveals that 50% of government schools and 36% of private schools in the city are not even aware of the 3% reservation for disabled children guaranteed under the Persons with Disabilities Act

Read more...

Ability Unlimited

By Neeta Lal

Their wheelchairs spinning faster than a kathak dancer, the artistes of the unique Ability Unlimited dance troupe hold audiences spellbound all over the world. Through dance, members of this 150-strong troupe of mentally/physically challenged people find a voice in a not very inclusive society

Read more...

Interactive approaches for special children

By Rupa Chinai

Sangath Society, a Goa-based CSO working with mental health issues, has come up with the concept of 'resource rooms' for children with learning disabilities, within their normal schools, where they can be given special attention. The concept is currently being pilot-tested in three schools in the state

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National Policy for the Disabled: No clear roadmap for action

By Deepanjali Bhas

Does the National Policy for Persons with Disability announced in February 2006 indicate a withdrawal of the State from its responsibility towards the disabled and a tendency to thrust that responsibility on civil society and communities?

Read more...

The fate of my CV: Job encounters of the disabled kind

Wheelchair-bound Sounak Banerjee writes about his frustrating - and futile - attempts to get himself a job

Read more...

Government discriminates against the disabled in IAS recruitment

By Lalitha Sridhar

Despite qualifying for the Indian Administrative Services, disabled candidates are being refused the deserved government placements. A national campaign is addressing this discrimination

Read more...

Shaken to the core

By Ammu Joseph

The residents of Sastur in Maharashtra, where 1,400 people were killed in the Latur quake a decade ago, continue to suffer alarming levels of psychological distress. A recent study emphasises the need to integrate psycho-social care into post-disaster reconstruction initiatives

Read more...

Incentives for inclusion

By Lalitha Sridhar

At least 7 million disabled Indians are waiting for a job. But only 0.4% of employees in India's top 100 corporate houses are disabled. India's first Draft Incentives Policy for the Disabled has just been presented to the government. It demands serious attention from the public and private sectors to the question of incentives and subsidies for the support and employment of the disabled

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70 million disabled in India, and only 2% are educated and 1% employed

By Lalitha Sridhar

According to one study, Indians spend Rs 72,000 crore per annum in caring for their disabled family members. The government bears only a fraction of this cost

Read more...

Enabling airwaves

By Lalitha Sridhar

It's been a long time coming, but India's first radio programme for the disabled is finally being broadcast every week from All India Radio Madras. If the response is anything to go by, this could be the beginning of a revolution for India's 70 million disabled

Read more...

My wheelchair flew like the wind

Disabled activist Naseema Hurzuk's story is representative of the trials and victories of millions of disabled people in India. In these excerpts from her book Naseema, The Incredible Story, she writes about Mohammed who has no hands but can hit a four in a cricket match, about wheelchair basketball matches in England, and more

Read more...

Mirakles do happen!

By Indira Gartenberg

A courier service entirely run and staffed by the hearing-impaired? Is it a workable idea? Here's the remarkable story of just such a service surviving against all odds

Read more...

25% of Sharayu's workforce is disabled

By Huned Contractor

At Sharayu Precision, Subhash Chuttar employs over 36 mentally and physically challenged men and women who work at jobs ranging from riveting, drilling and greasing to polishing and packing. Chuttar has just won the Helen Keller Award instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

Read more...

Survey finds disabled women doubly disadvantaged

A pioneering study on women with disabilities, conducted in five eastern Indian states, finds that disabled women, besides lacking education and employment opportunities, are completely ignorant about their legal rights

Read more...

Disabled children five times more likely to remain out of school than SC/ST children: WB report

Only 1% of funds under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan are spent on inclusive education; employment of people with disability fell from 43% in 1991 to 38% in 2002 despite strong economic growth; and negative attitudes towards the disabled persist. These are some of the findings of a new World Bank report on disability in India

Read more...

Taj Mahal becomes disabled-friendly

People with disability will now be able to take a closer, more intimate look at the magnificent monument to love thanks to the construction of nine ramps at various points in the complex

Read more...

Court raps Maharashtra for failure to fill disabled job quota

The Bombay High Court orders the freezing of recruitment for Maharashtra state government jobs until the backlog of vacant posts earmarked for the disabled is filled

Read more...

Govt promises inclusive education for disabled children

In keeping with demands for a more inclusive system of education in India, the government promises to include disabled children in all its educational programmes

Read more...

The 'special children' trap

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently announced that positions in the Indian bureaucracy would be open to the disabled, a move that won many plaudits. Yet, writes Neera Kuckreja Sohoni, barriers persist in preventing variously challenged people from accessing education and other services

http://www.indianexpress.com/

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Ministry reports neglect the disabled: shadow report

According to a shadow report on disability, released recently, the office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has been vacant for over nine months

Read more...

Standing up for the rights of the disabled

By Teresa Rehman

In the northeastern state of Assam, riddled with insurgency, the rights of disabled people get even lower priority than elsewhere in the country. Disability Law Unit-North East has come up with successful legal interventions to secure the rights of the disabled in the region and to spread awareness about the protections available under the law

Read more...

A school for Mr Datta

Denied state support, octogenarian Kanailal Datta set up New Barrackpore's first school for mentally and physically challenged children

Read more...

Tejas brings education and independence to disabled rural women

The Disability Law Unit, an organisation fighting for the rights of disabled people, has started a rural initiative called Tejas that aims to make disabled rural women economically independent

Read more...

Sankara Eye Hospital's goal: Vision 20/20 by 2020

The Sankara Eye Hospital, which started up in Coimbatore as a small community eye care movement, now serves a population of over 15 million people

Read more...

Disabilities can be reversed: Impact India Foundation

The Impact India Foundation, which set up the unique Lifeline Express, is working on an innovative project which aims to halve the incidence of disabilities in three areas of India, each with a population of one million, in just three years

Read more...

Samarthya advocates barrier-free access for all

By Lalitha Sridhar

Two disabled travel enthusiasts are lobbying for a universal barrier-free environment. They have been responsible for making the Dilli Haat the first barrier-free tourist spot in India

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The importance of advocacy

By Lalitha Sridhar

Ninety-nine percent of organisations working with the disabled are welfare, rehabilitation and service-oriented. The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People believes it's time to get away from the welfare approach and focus on advocacy for the empowerment of the disabled

Read more...

The Touch and Smell Garden

M S Swaminathan Foundation's unique Touch and Smell Garden for the visually impaired was set up on the basic principle that it is not by sight alone that we perceive objects

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Chennai's Darshini group: `The only prerequisite is an aptitude for helping'

By Lalitha Sridhar

A group of women in Chennai get together to read, teach and pamper their visually impaired students to prepare them to take up secure jobs and live confident lives

Read more...

Thiramayin Thissaiyyil, the popular radio programme, gives disabled people a voice

By Lalitha Sridhar

Produced by Ability Foundation, in association with All India Radio, Chennai, this pioneering radio programme focuses on the advocacy of disability-related issues and dissemination of information to disabled people

Read more...

Vidya Sagar's Charity Trophy: `The bottom line is inclusion'

By Lalitha Sridhar

At Vidya Sagar's annual Charity Trophy, Sadya, corporate executives mingle with the disabled in a variety of physical activities. The idea is `inclusion' and to encourage corporate involvement in the disability sector

Read more...

Asexuality and hypersexuality

By Richa Kaul Padte

The stigma of hypersexuality attached to mentally disabled women and the assumed asexuality of people with physical disabilities both serve to exclude disabled people from the realm of socially accepted sexual behaviours, practices, and rights

mentally disabled women sexuality

Read more...

Violence and disabled women

By Richa Kaul Padte

A more inclusive and diverse understanding of sex is bringing queer theory together with a disability-rights discourse to legitimise what was previously considered ‘deviant’ or ‘incorrect’

violence, disabled women

Read more...

Disability emerges from its social seclusion

By Richa Kaul Padte

There are slow but sure changes in attitudes around disability and relationships. Shaadi.com has an option to disclose your impairment, and Happily Ever After provides a platform for disabled people to meet and interact

disabled relationships

Read more...

‘How do you do it?’: The politics of disabled sex

By Richa Kaul Padte

A more inclusive and diverse understanding of sex is bringing queer theory together with a disability-rights discourse to legitimise what was previously considered ‘deviant’ or ‘incorrect’

disability and sexuality

Read more...

Beauty and the impaired body

By Richa Kaul Padte

As the beauty industry tightens its chains on all women – not just the disabled – we need to reframe the definition and discussion around beauty, where the disabled body is reconfigured as equally valued and natural as the able body

shirin juwaley

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Breaking the silence around disabled sexuality

Desexualised or hypersexualised because of their impairments, women with disabilities are denied the right to see themselves and be seen as independent sexual beings. Introducing a series on disability and sexuality by Richa Kaul Padte

 disabled sexuality

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